IN DEMAND: Receptive to changing career patterns and market trends
KUALA LUMPUR 24 September 2012: COLLEGES are reporting a surge in non-conventional courses from wedding planning, golf resort management to traditional Chinese medicine as Generation Y seeks lucrative careers.
Industry experts and a deputy minister said the diminishing preoccupation safe study choices, such as medicine, dentistry, engineering, coincided with big changes in the world of employment.
"The old job classification is not relevant in this day and age. Jobs are not title or designation-based any more. It is a matter of fact, creativity and talent-based," said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
National Association of Private Educational Institutions (Napei) president, Assoc Prof M. Elajsolan said Generation Y was more creative and keen to explore.
"The skills sector is a valuable contributor to the economy and those who graduate from these programmes can be good leaders of the industry as well," Elajsolan said.
Management & Science University (MSU) said there has been an overwhelming interest in traditional Chinese medicine, leisure, outdoor and adventure, and spa management courses which were introduced in stages since 2009.
Datuk Rosli Yusof, who is the university's corporate communications vice-president, said graduates would find ample opportunities in the industry, in government services, academia and also in human services agencies. "We foresee good growth for these industries in the coming years."
On its part, Limkokwing University has also been spotting trends, introducing among others, Bachelor of Public Management course.
"The course is suitable for all. It provides one with vast knowledge in areas such as government, governance and law," said Chee Wei Ming, who is a lecturer at the university's Creative Technology Business and Globalisation Faculty.
Saifuddin also advised parents to allow their children to pursue their dreams and end up being successful, rather than gloating over their children's pay cheques while they (children) loathed their jobs.
"Sports used to be just an extracurricular activity in school. Look at it now.
"It is one of the highest paying career choices and there are many sports schools now to train budding athletes and some parents are even forking out money for personalised training and coaching."
Saifuddin, in lauding the move by institutions of higher learning which introduced such out-of-the-ordinary courses, also advised such varsities and colleges to prioritise on quality and not to be profit-oriented.
Elajsolan said parents and the community would have to change their mindset in keeping with the times.
By YISWAREE PALANSAMY AND EMILIA GAZALI